A steady stream of enthusiastic art lovers flocked to RMIT Gallery for the last night of Experimenta Recharge – an interactive exhibition of media art. To the hum of the music around the nearby State Library, patrons played with the art works, delighting especially in Brazilian artist Anasia’s Franco’s “Emanating Happiness”. Anaisa Franco works with robotics and low-fi electronics to produce interactive sculptures and installation that connect mechanical processes with the subconscious human mind. “Emanating Happiness” was developed during an artist in residence program at Creative and Cognition Studios, University of Technology, Sydney as part of the EMARE AUS CDN Move On Exchange (European media artists in residence in exchange with Australia and Canada). This program is supported by the Culture 2013 Programme of the European Commission and the Goethe Institute. Inspired by psychology, dreams and the possibilities inherent in DIY electrical engineering, Franco animates objects – such as her reactive shattering mirror “Frustration” (below) with behaviours and feelings to blur the boundaries between body, mind and machine.
Franco’s work “Paranoia” 2010, a reactive sculpture, had audiences reaching for their phones to record the false teeth screaming and laughing. Instant replays were viewed as people left the gallery – a lingering memento of Experimenta Recharge ready for replay at any time.